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Old 04-10-2013, 08:03 AM   #15
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It would seem that even though your batteries are connected in parallel they are both grounded. Use two disconnects. It is better to not leave the batteries connected together when disconnected from the coach. It will give you a good test if one goes down and the other one doesn't. Makes no difference if you use positive or negative terminal as long as one side of the battery is completely disconnected.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:49 AM   #16
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I'm now storing my MH in a more secure area, but no longer have shore power to plug into. To keep my batteries from running down I want to install disconnects at the negative terminals. Did the chassis battery--no problem. But for the coach, I have two 12v batteries in parallel. One is grounded to the chassis, the other has a jumper to the first battery's neg. terminal and two other cables that are grounded somewhere in the bowels of the coach. If I disconnect just one of the batteries (either one), there is still juice going to the coach. The only way I can completely shut off power to the coach is to disconnect the negatives on both batteries. Does this mean, then, that I have to install disconnects on both batteries, or is there some way to install just a single disconnect? Thanks for your help.
Just re-reading your post and second question....

When the term "grounded" is used re: batteries, I only think Negative side, black posts. Then You say the other two cables, I'm assuming Red positive side, are "grounded somewhere in the bowels". Usually those go as a single, red labeled cable to a disconnect solenoid or 12 v distribution panel. They are not "grounded". I would trace those Pos cables to be sure where and to what they connect.

Sounds like your pos sides of each house battery go to separate 12v dist lugs supplying part of your 12v circuits. Not a true "parallel" use of the coach batteries. And the Neg sides of the same batteries are chained to a single ground connection. Correct? A 12vdc wiring diagram for your coach would be very helpful here...

Regardless, If so, breaking the common, Neg, ground line with a single switch should work. But I have to agree with the other poster's safety preference to always breaking the Pos side. I also, don't like to accidentally become a ground path.

Sorry, I just prefer to fully understand anything electrical before I try to modify it...

Maybe someone in the Newmar forum that has the same model can clarify...
Jack
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:36 AM   #17
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If your batteries don't share a common ground and POS (which it sounds like they don't), then you'll want 2 disconnects (or just remove the 2 NEG cables). As already stated, batteries will self discharge just sitting there. The coach (deep cycles) are more tolerant of sitting without a charge. The starting battery will not recover if left in a discharged state too long or if repeated a few times.

You would be well advised to remove them, take home and keep on a trickle charger. Solar is of course an option if the panel is large enough and gets enough sun. Lastly, a trip there at least once a month to drive it or running the genny. You just want to be sure they are FULLY charged. This means 12.6 - 12.7 volts after sitting for an hour with no charging going on. This eliminates a "Surface charge" which gives you an incorrect reading immediately after removing the charger.
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:10 AM   #18
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Just re-reading your post and second question....

When the term "grounded" is used re: batteries, I only think Negative side, black posts. Then You say the other two cables, I'm assuming Red positive side, are "grounded somewhere in the bowels".
Jack
Jack, on the second battery there are three cables connected to the negative post. As stated, one is a jumper to the first battery's neg. post (which is then grounded to the chassis), and the other two disappear from (easy) view.
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:39 PM   #19
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Hey Bob....thanks for your post. For the past 28mo. we have been living in our MH and the need to disconnect the battery bank has not really been on my radar. However, we are moving back "on shore" for at least the next 6mo. so storage issues have taken-on a priority.
Like you we do not have access to power, but I can visit the MH regularly to run the generator & recharge.

Anyway, my bank of 4 six volt batteries is also a spiderweb of cables, hard to get at negative posts and bundles running off into the black void. My solution cost a couple of $$$, but I had my friendly Spartan shop fishout the correct negative wires ( they recommended Neg. rather than Pos.) and wire everything into a heavy duty truck switch. This required some new cable(s), connectors & they fabricated an aluminum bracket.

Really not all that expensive to have a professional job and a pro do the install .... Now the disconnect is a quick flip of a switch( I can use it even in the rain) and no chance of any nasty shocks or surprises!

Probably doesn't help much with your specific question, but this is a possible solution if you find the DYI route becomes too frustrating.

Good luck
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Old 04-12-2013, 01:36 PM   #20
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Thanks, Jack. That's a nice-looking solution.
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Old 04-12-2013, 02:00 PM   #21
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Okay, back to my original question. Even though my coach batteries are connected in parallel, each is grounded and each supplies power to different systems. For example, if I disconnect the ground on one, my interior lights still work. If I disconnect the other, my steps still work. When I disconnect both, all 12v power to coach is off. Thus my question, do I have to install disconnects on both, or is there a way I can get by with only one?
A bit unusual but you apparently have isolated grounds. I say unusual because shore power, for safety reasons, would require common bonding. However, it's possible that the transfer switch does supply the common bond when the shore power is enabled. So ... if you do not have a common bond in storage (the 2 grounds are separated) you would need 2 mechanical disconnects (3 counting the chassis). What I don't understand is how (or if) you charge both coach batteries when not connected to shore power. Do you have the DC wiring diagram available? To be clear, are you saying you have 2 separate cables running somewhere from the 2 negative terminals of coach bats?
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Old 04-12-2013, 02:15 PM   #22
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Jack, on the second battery there are three cables connected to the negative post. As stated, one is a jumper to the first battery's neg. post (which is then grounded to the chassis), and the other two disappear from (easy) view.
I re-reading this portion of your post and paraphrasing ... "on the second battery's neg. post there is a jumper to the first battery's neg. post", your batteries have a common bond at the batteries. Somewhere further out on your chassis, your negative lugs (grounds) are not common (at the same negative potential). Or, to put it another way, you may have some chassis grounds that are corroded or making bad contact.
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